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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Art in every shade

Art has never come naturally to me.

In school, I loved and did well in almost all of my classes (besides completely failing to wrap my mind around Algebra) but the one class I never excelled in was Art. Sure, I got good grades in it but that was more for doing the work, not doing it well.

I was always in awe of the kids who could take crayons and blank sheet of paper and, 40 minutes later, have perfectly captured a scene. Today, I'm still fascinated by people who use just a pencil and notebook paper to draw an object with almost photo-like accuracy. At a museum last week, I kept glancing over the shoulder of a woman on a bench sketching a pre-Columbian artifact.

Taking Art History while studying in London, my notebook was full of crude pencil sketches of various pieces. It ended up being much more helpful to rely on notes and photographs when writing papers than my in-person drawings. My major presentation (oral, thankfully, no diagrams needed) was on the Mildenhall Great Dish, which I drew basically as a large circle with a few squiggly people inside. It was pathetic. The professor must have had a great laugh reading my art notebook at the end of term.

Students always laughed during Art class as I shoddily demonstrated each drawing technique -- still life, landscape, horizon, portrait -- as even at 8-years-old, their art skills greatly surpassed my own.

Now I'm realizing that art is more than just pencil-to-paper. Photography has begun to interest me more over the past year and now "art" seems to jump out more than ever. We all have different talents; we just need to learn to embrace them.

What was your favorite subject in school? I always loved Reading and Writing in elementary school -- and still do!